Let me start this off by saying, when the Giants Acquired Hunter Pence, I was ecstatic. He then appeared at AT&T Park, emerging through the Left Field gate, the fans emotion was through the roof, 2012 was going to be special and boy was it. I was all for the 5 year $90m extension, we had a corner piece, who could hit, who would motivate and would be a key piece in 2 more World Series Runs. But like all other situations, good things seem to come to an end.
The Giants new "Iron Man" began to get older, wear down a bit, injuries started to occur and the funky Right Fielder, with the unorthodox stance, swing, trot and throw was begging to show signs of slowing down.
Fast forward to 2017, a down year for Pence, but with a young powerful prospect waiting in the wings, Mac Williamson, Pence performed at a higher level, showed why he is THE Clubhouse Guy.
He played in 134 games, his most since he first 2 seasons in SF where he played and started all 162 game. He hit .260, 13 homers, and 67 RBI. Which were vast improvements on how the season started. It was clear however, Pence was begging to be a shell of the old #8.
2018 is here now and there is a glaring difference in optimism. Pence now in left field is pressing, he is batting only 1.72, has 22 strikeouts, 2 walks and 0 HR. His fielding is taking a hit, evident last night, but his blatant misread of a somewhat routine fly ball in left. His arm strength appears to be declining as well, I hate to say it but he is becoming a liability in Left.
Meanwhile, the successor to this throne, Mac Williamson is in on FIRE in Sacramento. Williamson coming off PCL player of the week honors for the period of April 5-15 is at or near the top of the PCL in every major offensive category, including batting average (.487, 1st), home runs (six, T-1st), hits (19, 9th), total bases (40, 2nd), RBI (16, 3rd) and extra-base hits (nine, t-1st). Additionally, the outfielder leads all full-season Minor League players in slugging percentage (1.026), on-base percentage (.600) and OPS (1.626).
Williamson, currently playing in Right, for the River Cats is displaying everything you want to see from a young prospect ready to make his mark on the bigs. His arm is one to see to believe, his power is unmatched currently on this team and by few in the organization. He homered in 4 straight game to start the season for the River Cats. (I personally watched him drop BOMBS off of the visitor club house in Sacramento, which is WELL beyond center field, with ease and consistency.
He can play left at At&T, he has done it in the past, his arm is much more powerful, than Pence, his bat more consistent, and in my opinion his confidence appears to be at an all time high.
It's time to call him up.
Pence is on the last year of his deal, I can't imagine there is a ton of trade value left on him at this time, certainly his numbers are not helping that value at this moment. (No i'm not suggesting trading him). Rolling him out every night, is in turn hurting the team. He is not producing and he is preventing someone who is from being a potential spark plug in a lineup that is anemic at best right now.
Pence can stay around, option Henandez or Blanco (if they have options) back to Sacramento to get some extra work in. Pence, can be the platoon guy in left or right. It's a full circle tale, as he was the one who started the platoon in 2012 that brought the Giants so much late season success. He can still be the locker room guy, he can be that spark off the bench, and still have an impact, but it's time, while the season is young, to see what we have in Mac Williamson.